General information

Shrenk's Wild Tulip


There is an amazing legend about this beautiful and elegant flower. Even in ancient times, people believed that happiness was in the very heart of a yellow tulip. The problem was that the bud did not open. But one day, in the palms of one baby, a flower suddenly opened and revealed to the world all the charm of the universe. Conclusion: happiness belongs to people with a baby's soul and a pure heart. Here is such a beautiful story about this exquisite flower.

Schrenk's tulip is named after the traveler Alexander Gustav von Schrenk. While studying botany and mineralogy, he discovered a new flower - an unusual tulip, which today bears his name.

This is one of the most beautiful plants of the steppe and semi-steppe zones. As for coloring, there are pure yellow, fiery red, pale pink and snow-white tulips of this species. In the steppe you can observe a magnificent spectacle, when wild tulips bloom, forming a bright multi-colored carpet.

On a fairly strong stem with a height of 15 to 40 cm without leaves, a bud in the shape of a bowl of 6 bright petals flaunts. At the base are several leaves of oblong shape. One of the features - in one population can be very diverse colors of buds. Often there are not only solid colors, but also mixed colorful colors. That is why it is of interest for breeding work.

How and when blooms

Schrenk's Tulip, or Gesner (this is his second name) is an early flowering plant. If the soil is wet, then the plants will delight in flowers. As we have already noted, the flowering period is in the middle of April. Flowering plant about 2 weeks.

When the peduncle fades, after a certain time a seed box with a size of 4 cm appears. After it dries and cracks, all its contents are carried by the wind throughout the steppe zone. Inside the box is more than two hundred seeds. In order for a new bulb to grow from seed, it will take up to 7 years.

The process takes place gradually. In the first year, an onion appears with one seedbed leaf. In the second year, it is replaced by a real sheet. About 3 years old onion is gaining growth. After 6 years, there are three leaves and a handsome flower. When the flower fades, the bulb has one process, from which the flower is formed the next year.

Places of growth

This wild tulip on the territory of Russia grows in steppes, desert and semi-desert places. In addition, it can be found in Central Asia and in the west of Siberia. Schrenk's tulip, or Gesner, is called calcephil, that is, the plant loves lime very much, and therefore grows in a soil enriched with calcium. The steppes are covered with these flowers like a carpet.

To meet this flower in the Orenburg region is a common thing. However, it is protected by the Red Book. Schrenk’s tulips grow in hectares in the Orenburg region, their incredible fragrance fills the air during flowering.

And in the Volgograd region even established a natural monument, named Kurnaevsky tulip meadow. Unusual plants grow on an area of ​​418 hectares; among them is Schrenk’s tulip.

Outside the Russian Federation, this variety is distributed in the south-east of Ukraine, as well as in Kazakhstan, China and in the north of Iran.

What is different from garden tulips

As we have already noted, the first tulips appeared from this plant. However, between the wild flower and the garden there are significant differences:

Shrenka's wild tulip blooms at the end of April and blooms until mid-May. The first garden tulips can be cut only on May 9, but then they will delight until the end of the month.

Shrenka’s tulip leaves have wavy leaves, while garden ones have straight leaves. In addition, they are spread out in different directions, while ordinary tulips are directed strictly upwards.

Garden flowers are able to multiply by children and, having a little rest, can bloom annually. In a wild plant, an onion from a seed is formed only for 6 or 7 years. For this reason, there is no point in picking a flower to enjoy its flowering in a few years. It's easier to see a unique plant in its place of growth.

Botanical description

Shrenka's tulip (Tulipa schrenkii) is a wild-growing low bulbous plant, which is attributed to the genus Tulip of the Liliaceae family. However, many taxonomist analysts still refuse to recognize Shrenk’s tulip as a separate species: it was previously classified as Tulipa suaveolens, today many are identified with Tulipa gesneriana.

The plant rarely exceeds 40 cm in height. On a leafless stem there is a large, cup-shaped bud, the size of which reaches about 7 cm, with six petals of a rich, colorful color, slightly pointed at the end. Bud color can vary: from white and yellow to pink and purple. At the base of the plant are placed green, with a blue tint, slightly twisted oblong leaves. Perianth consists of 4-6 round leaves.

The fruit of the plant is a seed pod in which up to 240 kernels can ripen.

The bulb is small, 2.5-3 cm. It has the shape of an egg; it is covered on top with a layer of scales of gray-brown color. The onion goes deep into the ground, forming only one kidney during its maturation.

In honor of whom is named

The tulip received its original name in honor of the famous biologist Alexander Ivanovich Shrenk, who in 1873, in one of his trips around Kazakhstan, discovered this new, amazingly beautiful, very fragile and tender plant. Alexander Shrenk came from the Tula province, but worked for many years in Germany, therefore in some sources he is mentioned as Alexander Gustav von Schrenk. In the last years of his professional activities, he served as a lecturer at the university of the Estonian city of Drepta (today Tartu).


The most comfortable habitats of this plant are considered to be steppe zones, semi-deserts, deserts, and gravelly plumes of small mountains. It grows well on calcareous soils with sufficient calcium content. Often it can be found on saline soils. Remarkably survives on chalky soils.

As for climatic conditions, Shrenk prefers belts where snow and frosty weather prevails in winter, and in summer warm, sun and little rain. On the territory of the Russian Federation, the flower can be found in the European part of the state, in the zones of the steppes, deserts and semi-deserts, as well as in the west of Siberia. In Ukraine, the plant lives in the southern and southeastern regions. The tulip has found wide distribution in the south of the peninsula of Crimea, in northeastern regions of Kazakhstan, in the People's Republic of China and Iran.

Why is listed in the Red Book

Over the past few decades, this beautiful plant has been endangered. And the reason for this is human activity:

  • regular plowing,
  • grazing livestock on land where the flower grows
  • soil contamination by harmful chemical emissions resulting from industrial production,
  • digging bulbs for use in the medical field,
  • cut flowers for sale.

Due to such human intervention, the number of populations has rapidly declined, natural selection has slowed down, the area of ​​plant growth has decreased significantly and continues to decrease. Environmental authorities are taking measures to prevent the death of a flower:

  • they are patrolling the plantation during the flowering of the tulip,
  • conduct explanatory work aimed at the awareness of respect for nature,
  • fines violators.

The flower is protected in the Naurzum and Kurgaldzhinsky reserves.

Can I put him at home

According to the law Shrenka's tulip is a rare, unique plant on the verge of extinction listed in the Red Book. It is forbidden to dig out the bulbs of a plant, which means it is impossible to plant it in your garden under the law. For violation of the corresponding penalties.

If you nevertheless decided to purchase the bulbs or seeds of the plant for the purpose of planting, then during the planting you need to consider the following aspects:

  • the first flowering begins only after 6-8 years after planting, if the climate conditions are not comfortable, flowering may begin even later,
  • to propagate a flower can only be seeds
  • after the plant has faded, the bulb will die off and only one baby will appear in its place, the flowering of which will begin a couple of years after the mother flower.

Growing a Schrenk tulip in the home is impractical, and even illegal. Therefore, it would be better to leave it wild and give us and our ancestors the opportunity to admire its beauty for many years.

The Legend of Tulip

True or not, but once upon a time people thought that happiness was concentrated in the very center of a beautiful yellow tulip. Only trouble was that the bud could not be opened. Then one day an amazing flower fell into the hands of a little boy, a tulip opened, revealing beauty to the world. Only a person with a pure heart and soul, like a baby, is able to find happiness.

Shrenk's Tulip: description

Wild tulip varieties are of medium size. But Shrenka’s tulip boasts distinctive large features. It has a very tiny egg-shaped bulb, 1.5-2 cm in diameter. But the plant itself grows up to 30-40 centimeters in height. It has green and blue leaves of a lanceolate form, slightly wavy, usually 3 or 4, the bottom is always larger than the others.

The flower has a rather changeable form, most often a cup-shaped bottom and six petals, pointed at the end, like in lilies. Unlike artificially bred varieties, it has a light and pleasant aroma. The flower size is 7 centimeters in height. Color can be different: red, orange, yellow, snow-white and even almost purple, there are also variegated forms. Shrenka's tulip belongs to mid-flowering tulips, blooms from late April and all of May. It is propagated in nature by seeds that ripen in sufficient quantity in June.

Shrenk tulips in the Orenburg region

To meet Shrenk's tulip in the Orenburg region is a common thing. Combining parts of the European Plain, the south of the Urals and Trans-Urals, the vast territory is rich in steppes, where this species grows. Shrenk's tulip is a flowering symbol of the Orenburg region. It is impossible to compare the thick spring aroma that fills the steppe air when whole hectares bloom. The Red Book of the region also puts it under protection. But love and appreciate the tulip is not only there.

In 2009, a natural monument of regional importance, the Kurnayevsky Tulip Meadow, was established in the Volgograd Region. It is located on a very large area of ​​418 hectares. Its special value is due to the fact that there grow rare and rare plants, including Schrenk's tulip. The regional authorities limit the anthropogenic influence of the environment on this territory to the maximum in order to preserve the biosystem in its original form.

Bieberstein Tulips

This is another species of wild-growing tulips, which was discovered by the German botanist Friedrich Bieberstein and is named after him. The shape of the flower and the rest of the external phenotypic signs are very similar to the Schrenk variety. But there are two significant differences. First, Biberstein's tulips are always bright yellow in color and no other, while their closest relatives are full of colors like a kaleidoscope. In addition, the flowers a little smaller, on average, up to 3 centimeters. Secondly, they are well propagated not only by seeds, but also by daughter bulbs, which allows them to reproduce their numbers fairly quickly. In Russia, they can be found in the Volga region, in the Caucasus, Kalmykia, and Western Siberia. But in the Rostov region they are listed in the regional Red Book.

Is it possible to plant such a tulip at home?

From the point of view of the law, one cannot plant Shrenk’s tulip in his garden. The Red Book of Russia classifies it as a rare and endangered plant species, whose population in the wild is sharply reduced. Bulbs of this type are forbidden to dig and sell, in addition, it is impossible to pick flowers, as this is directly related to the extinction of the plant (the seeds do not ripen). Violations are subject to liability and fines. When buying such bulbs from dishonest sellers, remember this and that it is better to keep these flowers in the wild and allow them to be enjoyed not only by us, but also by our descendants.

The preservation of Schrenk’s tulip in Ukraine and Kazakhstan is also taken under state control, it is listed in the Red Books of these states.

Appearance Description

Shrenka's tulip is a low plant. The height of the peduncle may be from 30 to 40 cm. Leaves below, about 20 cm . Peduncle erect, smooth, rich green color. The upper part, closer to the bud can sometimes be dark red.

Shrenk's Tulip

The leaves are greenish with a bluish tinge. On one plant 3-4 leaves. The first rises out of the ground, the remaining 2 or 3 wrap the spike at the very base. The edge of the leaves is slightly wavy. Leaves fall apart.

The color is varied: white, orange, yellow, lilac-pink, there are maroon shades. Often there are variegated buds, when the petals are painted in one color, and in the center or edges there passes an uneven strip of another, contrasting color.

The bulb is small, from 2.5 to 3 cm . The form is ovoid, densely covered with scales of gray-brown color. It goes deep into the earth, forms only one child for all the time.

Flowering and reproduction

Shrenka's tulip is an early flowering plant. Depending on weather conditions, the flowering period is in April or early May and lasts from 7 to 14 days..

If the spring is wet, the flowering is massive. In dry weather, not all bulbs produce flower stalks.

After blooming tulip Shrenka formed a box with seeds

When flowering ends, a seed box is formed. Its length is 4 cm, consists of three wings. A lot of seed - up to 240 pieces. The dried box bursts, the seeds are poured out, and some is carried by the wind.

The period from seed germination to the formation of flowers lasts 6-7 years :

  • in the first year an onion and one cotyledon leaf are formed from the seed. 4 cm deep into soil
  • in the second year the cotyledon leaf is replaced with one true leaf, the bulb goes deeper into the ground,
  • from the third to the sixth year bulb gains weight and nutrients. For the process of photosynthesis produces one or two sheets. A replacement daughter bulb is gradually formed,
  • in the sixth year Shrenka goes through a full vegetation cycle: 3 true leaves grow, a peduncle and a bud, and seeds are set. At the end of the cycle, the bulb is depleted and dies off, leaving only one child in its place.

Shrenk Tulip Description

The wild-growing plant growing in steppes and forest-steppes belongs to the genus Tulip and the family Lily. Its height does not exceed 40 cm, and the length of the leaves is about 20 cm. In total, there are no more than 3–4 of them per plant. A cup-shaped flower consists of six rounded or pointed petals and reaches a height of 7 cm. It is this brief description of the Schrenk tulip that gives the first impression of a plant that is listed in the Red Book of our country.

In nature, there are plants of a wide variety of colors. Red, yellow, orange, white and motley - these are the most common variants of tulip coloring. Flowering plants accounted for the end of April and lasts until mid-May. At the end of June, a fruit is formed - a seed box. After flowering, an onion is preserved in the ground, from which a new plant appears next year. The bulb itself is egg-shaped and does not exceed 3 cm in diameter.

Peculiarities of flowering and reproduction

Shrenka's tulip belongs to the early flowering plants. With a sufficient amount of moisture, the peduncles release all the plants. The flowering period itself falls on the end of April or the beginning of May and continues under favorable weather from 7 to 14 days.

A box with seeds, which appears some time after the completion of flowering, reaches a height of no more than 4 cm. But at the same time it forms up to 240 seeds. When the box dries out and bursts, all the seeds are poured out of it, and part of them due to the wind spreads throughout the steppe.

The period of formation of the seeds of new bulbs and flowering plants is quite long and is 6 or 7 years. In the first year, an onion with one cotyledon leaf is obtained. The following year, this sheet is replaced by the present. Over the next three years, the bulb will grow. And only in the sixth or seventh year the plant produces three leaves and peduncle. After flowering, the bulb dies off, but leaves behind only one baby. It is from it that next year a new flower will grow.

Comparison with garden tulips

It is believed that the first tulips originated from the Schrenk plant. However, despite this, when compared with them, there are many differences:

  1. Blooming time. У тюльпана Шренка первые цветы распускаются уже в конце апреля и продолжают радовать своей красотой до середины мая. Садовые тюльпаны редко распускаются раньше 9 мая и цветут до конца этого месяца.
  2. Форма листьев. У тюльпана Шренка листья имеют волнистый, а не прямой край, как у садовых растений. The leaves are spread out to the sides, whereas for ordinary tulips they are strictly vertical.
  3. Reproduction. In Schrenk’s tulip, the period of formation of a bulb from seeds is 6 or 7 years, whereas garden tulips breed by children and after a certain period of rest they can bloom every year.


Wild tulips grow in the steppe expanses. They prefer calcareous lands, chalky and saline soils rich in calcium. A favorable climate for plant growth and breeding is a frosty but not snowy winter and a hot, dry summer. Places where you can meet Shrenka tulip - steppe, forest-steppe, semi-desert and foothills. It can be found on the territory of Eastern Ukraine, and on the Crimean peninsula, on the territory of Central Asia and Western Siberia.

Places where tulips grow, in the spring, in the period of flowering of plants, are covered with a multi-colored carpet. In Russia, this plant can be found in state natural parks and reserves. For example, a tulip grows in the Orenburg Nature Reserve, located in the territory of the same name.

Shrenk's Tulip and the Red Book

For plants listed in this register, the reason is always almost the same - human activity. Mastering the steppes, using them as pasture for domestic animals, cutting flowers for the purpose of selling, digging up bulbs - all this led to the mass disappearance of Shrenk's tulip. Today, all these actions are prohibited, and their execution is punishable by law.

In order to preserve Shrenk’s tulip in Russia and the CIS countries, environmental patrols are carried out at appropriate places in the territory of the plant, preventive work is carried out with violators, and administrative fines are levied.

Growing at home

If you want to grow a Schrenk tulip in your backyard, you need to take into account the fact that the flowering plant will occur only 7-8 years after planting. The first years at the place of instillation of seeds will appear only on one sheet. Peduncle, as a rule, is produced only in the sixth year.

Planting a Schrenk tulip at home is impractical because:

  • reproduction of a plant occurs only by seeds, and not by bulbs,
  • on average, the period from germination to flowering is 6 years, and under adverse conditions it is even longer,
  • after the first flowering, the bulb dies off, leaving behind only one child, which will begin to bloom only after a few years.

That is why there is no need to pick an environmental protection flower just to admire it in 6-7 years. It is much better to go on a trip to the steppe zone and look at the unique tulip without destroying it.

It should be noted that the law punishes the collection of plants in any form, including after flowering, when there are boxes with seeds on the peduncle.

The history of the varieties of tulips Shrenka

The species belongs to the genus Tulip, the Lily family. Tulip is an ephemeroid, like many other flowering herbaceous perennials in steppes and semi-deserts. Plants bloom quickly in spring, when there is enough moisture, and the sun is not so merciless. The rest of the year the tulip spends in the ground, in the form of a bulb. Other typical ephemeroids are britches, crocuses, anemone, scilla.

Schrenk’s tulip was given a botanical name in honor of a Russian biologist and geologist. A. Shrenk traveled extensively in the regions of Russia, described nature, collected collections for the university and the Botanical Garden. A new species of tulip was discovered in the steppes in the south of Siberia. He was described by a botanist and gardener E. Regel.

The history of the flower, known as the Schrenk tulip, is closely connected with the oldest group of varieties - Duc van Toll. These are miniature plants that bloom in early spring. Shrenka's tulip is considered to be the ancestor of a varietal group, not the most popular today, but having many fans. The flowers may have a red-yellow, pink, yellow or purple color. Varieties with white, orange, lilac-pink and striped petals are bred.

Description of the species

A modified plant escape is deep in the ground. It is an egg-shaped bulb, with a diameter of up to 3 cm. The scales are dark, leathery. For the entire lifetime, the maternal tulip bulb Shrenka forms one baby.

The stem is dark green with reddish streaks and is up to 40 cm long. At the base there are 3-4 greenish-gray leaves 20 cm long, with wavy edges. They do not grow tsvetonosa, can lie.

Usually in the description of the tulip Shrenka special attention is paid to the flower. At first it has a cup shape, later - lily. The flower consists of 6 rather large petals 7–8 cm long. The diameter is 5–6 cm. The color of the petals and the fragrance vary depending on the place of growth. Shrenka tulips are more common with yellow and red flowers that are lighter at the base. The stamens and anthers are yellow and purple in color.

Why is the flower listed in the Red Book?

Tearing these flowers, digging bulbs in the natural habitat of Schrenk’s tulip is strictly prohibited. The view faces extinction, so it is listed in the Red Book.

The reasons are the features of the vegetation cycle, as well as the economic activities of people - land development, plowing steppes, construction, grazing.

Is it possible to grow a Schrenk tulip at home?

If you have enough patience, perseverance and skill, the seeds of wild tulip can be sown in the garden. But there is very little chance that the soil and microclimate will do. Under favorable conditions, the seed will germinate. Flowering will have to wait for a long 6 or 7 years. There are many modern varieties that are not inferior in beauty, or surpass Shrenk's tulip by this criterion.

To preserve the natural look in this way is impractical. Many varieties and hybrids can be grown in the garden and in flowerbeds. Shrenka's tulip is best preserved when organizing reserves and sanctuaries in countries where this oldest flowering plant is still found.